Queensland will be without the services of young winger Xavier Coates for tomorrow night’s State of Origin decider, after he succumbed to a groin injury.
The Brisbane Broncos player was rated a 50-50 chance by Wayne Bennett earlier in the day after reports broke of his groin complaint, but he has been ruled out according to The Courier-Mail’s Peter Badel. Newcastle Knights winger Edrick Lee will take his place in the side.
The 19-year-old had been a sensation in his Origin debut series, being the only Queenslander to score a try in both of this year’s matches. His 53rd-minute try in Game 1 put the Maroons in the lead, while his spectacular dive for the corner in Game 2 opened the scoring and was the lone highlight for Queensland in an otherwise disastrous outing.
The news comes as Bennett shuffles his backline ahead of Wednesday’s crunch match, moving Valentine Holmes to the wing and giving Corey Allan the gig at fullback. Bennett announced at his Tuesday morning press conference that Brenko Lee would earn his debut in the centres alongside Dane Gagai, and that Cameron Munster had passed all his tests and would be named at five-eighth.
Game 3 kicks off at 8:10pm (AEDT) tomorrow night at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium. New South Wales are looking to clinch their third series win in a row and will start favourites after hammering Queensland in Game 2.